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Buyouts in Roanoke

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Moderator1, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    From the Pipeline, the fun continues.

    To: All Roanoke Times Employees

    From: Debbie Meade, President and Publisher

    Date: July 6, 2007

    Subject: Voluntary Retirement Incentive Offer

    As you know, over the past several months we have discussed the need for The Roanoke Times to transform itself in order to
    remain competitive in the marketplace. Like the media industry as a whole, we’re taking steps to reinvent our
    company to remain relevant to our existing customers and to seek out new customers in new markets. We’re
    dealing with business conditions unprecedented in our long history. The Company Leadership Team has taken
    steps to create an overall plan to maintain The Roanoke Times’ fiscal integrity. Some of the steps have been
    difficult. All of them have been necessary. We have eliminated or frozen 27 positions. We are re-organizing
    departments. We are controlling expenses. We are employing technology to gain efficiencies.

    As part of our transformation, we anticipate a need for a reduction in our workforce to occur sometime this year.
    Prior to conducting any involuntary workforce reductions that might be needed, we are making a voluntary retirement incentive offer
    (RIO) to employees who meet the following specific eligibility requirements as of September 1, 2007:

    • They are full-time employees,

    • They are age 58 or older,

    • They have at least 15 years of vesting service, and

    • They are not considered highly compensated employees, as defined by the Internal Revenue Code.

    Based on these criteria, 21 people are eligible for this offer.

    The incentive being offered is six months' compensation based on their 2006 wages, a bridge benefit to Social Security
    benefits payable at age 62, plus a $2,400 benefit enhancement. All of these are pension plan benefits that are in|
    addition to the regular pension benefit. Both the six months' pay and the $2,400 incentive amounts may be paid
    either as a lump sum or in a monthly annuity. The Social Security bridge benefit is paid as an annuity, in the same
    manner as the regular pension benefit. Those people who are eligible are being sent additional information about
    the offer, as well as an invitation to attend a meeting where more details will be shared and where they can ask
    questions. Those eligible will have six weeks to decide to accept or reject the offer. Retirements will be effective
    September 1.

    Offering this voluntary RIO allows The Roanoke Times another way to manage costs while also providing an
    excellent financial opportunity for eligible employees who are ready to retire or who are interested in seeking
    career opportunities elsewhere. Our hope is that the voluntary RIO will reduce the number of positions that might need to be eliminated through involuntary work force reductions. Once the voluntary RIO is over, we will assess
    our needs. Employees eligible for the voluntary RIO who don’t elect it will be treated the same as employees who
    were not eligible, and may be included in involuntary workforce reductions. We do not know yet who might be
    included in future work force reductions or the exact timing of such decisions should they become necessary.

    We are committed to openly communicating all changes in a timely manner. Jean Lamkin, Interim HR Director,
    is the spokesperson for the RIO. All inquiries about the offer should be directed to her. Karen Belcher and Sherrie
    Yates in HR are coordinating the individual RIO packets. All inquiries about the individual packets should go to
    them. A question-and-answer document about the offer will be posted for all employees to read.

    The Roanoke Times continues to be a strong company. The RIO is one of many steps the company is taking to
    transform itself to assure its continued growth and profitability. It also provides an opportunity for employees who
    meet the offer’s criteria and who want to retire to make the transition.

    As always, we will keep you updated, and thank you for your support. -- Debbie

    Debbie Meade
    President and Publisher
    The Roanoke Times and roanoke.com
    1-800-346-1234, ext. 326
  2. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    Didn't we see this coming in the Greensboro cutback thread? Still sucks.
  3. Does Nappy King qualify for this?
  4. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Randy is a year older than I am.
    I am not 57.
    So no.
  5. boots

    boots New Member

    This should really not come as that big of a suprise, given the current situation with corporate.
  6. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    Please. Roanoke doesn't buy out Nappy.
    Nappy buys out Roanoke.
  7. spaceman

    spaceman Active Member

    Nappy made his bones when you were going out with cheerleaders.
  8. markvid

    markvid Guest

    I have one question about that market:
    Did the VA Tech tragedy cause anyone to leave their jobs?
    And I am including radio and TV in this...
    Obviously no names needed, just wondering if it's happened at all.
  9. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Sorry, but "involuntary work force reductions?" Jeebus wept.
  10. PeterGibbons

    PeterGibbons Member

    How much do you have to make to be "considered highly compensated employees, as defined by the Internal Revenue Code." And, is there such a thing as a highly compensated employee in a newsroom?
  11. Hoo

    Hoo Active Member

    Nappy ... bones ... cheerleaders.

    What? Huh? Yeah, that's right.
  12. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    They can't buyout Nappy. Without Nappy, the Roanoke Times sports web cast would go kaput. That would be a tragedy. Loyal viewers in Bangladesh would have nothing left in their lives.
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